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When Mystic Masters Meet

by Syafaatun Almirzanah

When Mystic Masters Meet "This important volume fills a major gap, f

Paperback
: Jan 1, 2012 • 260 Pages • 15 x 22,5 • ISBN 9781935295129
Hardcover
: 9781935295129
Categories
: Interfaith Dialogue, Backlist,
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DESCRIPTION

"This important volume fills a major gap, focusing on two great medieval mystic masters, one Muslim, the other Christian: Ibn al-'Arabi and Meister Eckhart. It covers their teachings that have significant implications for addressing issues of religious diversity and interfaith dialogue."
John L. Esposito / Georgetown University

This book is a study of the role mystical discourse and experience can play in Christian-Muslim dialogue as a subset of interfaith dialogue in general. It concentrates on the work of two great medieval mystic masters, one Muslim, the other Christian. The Muslim is the Sufi teacher known to centuries of admirers as al-shaykh al-akbar or "The Greatest Master"— Muhyi al-Din Ibn al-'Arabi. The Christian is the great German Dominican mystic and philosophical theologian whose status as "master" has become a part of his name—Meister Eckhart. The book begins by discussing the life and legacy of each mystic master, and then move on to identify a principal theme in each of their teachings that has significant implications for addressing issues of religious diversity and interfaith dialogue. It will then proceed to its main objective: placing the mystical discourse of these two masters in conversation with one another for the purposes of articulating "conversation points" between the two discourses which might serve as "nodes" for a possible new matrix for Christian-Muslim dialogue.

Specialized in Sufism, interfaith dialogue, and comparative mysticism, Dr. Syafaatun Almirzanah is a professor of Islam and Middle Eastern Politics and Diplomacy at The University of Indonesia, Jakarta. She is the Founding Director of the La Convivencia Center for Human Rights and Religious Values. Almirzanah is also the Research Coordinator for the Institute for Interfaith Dialogue in Indonesia (INTERFIDEI). She is currently a visiting professor and al-Waleed bin Talal Malaysian Center for Christian- Muslim Understanding chair at Georgetown University.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgmentsvii
Editor’s Noteviii
Abbreviationsix
Forewordxi
Introductionxv
Chapter I 
Ibn Al-‘Arabi: Historical Context, Life, and Legacy1
1. Historical Context3
2. Life8
3. Legacy37
Chapter II 
Meister Eckhart: Historical Context, Life, and Legacy51
1. Historical Context53
2. Life59
3. Legacy66
Chapter III 
Ibn Al-‘Arabi on the Self-Disclosure of God83
1. The Hidden Treasure Motif85
2. The Breath of The Merciful93
3. Perpetual Creation96
4. Human Being and the Perfect Man98
5. Diversity of Religions107
Chapter IV 
Meister Eckhart on Detachment119
1. The Merchants and the Virgin/Wife121
2. Detachment Is Not Withdrawal132
3. Living without a “Why?”136
4. Poverty, Breakthrough, and Union139
5. Pray to God to Be Free of God151
6. Pathless Path155
Chapter V 
Ibn Al-‘Arabi and Meister Eckhart—Synthesizing a 
Comparative Mystical Conversation159
A Note on the Orthodoxy of Ibn al-‘Arabi and Meister Eckhart162
The Two Masters in Comparative Perspective163
Scriptural Hermeneutics166
Oneness of Being168
Naming God174
God Created by the Believer versus the Godhead181
Transformation of the Self184
Moving Toward a New Matrix for Christian-Muslim Dialogue193
Chapter VI 
Towards a New Matrix for Christian-Muslim Dialogue: 
Re-Discovering Tradition197
To Be Religious Is to Be Inter-Religious200
Sufism and Christian Mysticism as Rich Resources 
for Interpreting the Traditions205
Ibn Al-‘Arabi: Scripture, Orthodoxy, and Religious Diversity207
Meister Eckhart: Scripture, Orthodoxy, and Religious Diversity219
Envisioning a New Matrix for Christian-Muslim 
Dialogue: Contemporary Challenges228
Conclusion: Speaking of God Without Speaking for God237
Bibliography243
Index255

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ABOUT AUTHOR

Syafaatun Almirzanah
Syafaatun Almirzanah

Dr. Almirzanah is a professor of Comparitive Religion and Sufism at the Faculty of Usuluddin (Theology) at State Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta-Indonesia.

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